There’s nothing more exciting than finding a new cycling route to cycle on. Whenever you travel to a new city or country, take your bike and experience a new place to cycle.
Unlike at home, though, it’s not as easy as just unpacking your bike and jumping on it. While sometimes you might get as lucky as those who play on the McLuck Sweepstakes Casino, it’s better to do some planning first. That way, you’ll definitely find the ideal place.
So, how do you go about it? Here are some tips.
Find a Cycling Club
At SoCalCycling.com, we’re based in Southern California and recommend the best routes and trails in the area. Like minded bicycling web sites and cycling clubs around the world share similar insights.
Before you head to your final destination, check online to find out what clubs are there and get in touch with them well before you arrive.
If they share our welcoming spirit, they can advise you on the best cycling routes. If you’ve planned your trip accordingly, you may even be able to tag along with group members as they head out for the day.
Use Google Maps
Google Maps can be a powerful tool if used appropriately. Many riders are unaware of the dedicated cycling layer built into the app.
If you’re using the mobile app, click the layers icon in the top right-hand corner and choose “Bicycle.” Notice anything new? All those lovely long green lines are dedicated bicycle lanes or bike tracks. See those dotted lines; they’re what Google Maps considers “cycle-friendly roads.”
You’ve now got a whole new set of bicycle routes in the palm of your hand.
To view the bike lane, click on the green line and choose “Street View.” If the satellites align, you’ll see exactly what the road looks like.
Download an App
Although Google Maps is great, several apps are dedicated to finding a cycle route in your or another city. Here are a few:
Loved by cyclists worldwide, VeloGuide is a route planner and social app all in one. You can connect with other local cyclists and gain knowledge or ride together. The saved routes are called VeloGuides and are available in over 800 cities in 72 countries. What a perfect way to make new like-minded friends and not have to solo-cycle.
Komoot is extremely popular because you can input a lot of data about what you’re looking for. Details like ride type, terrain, or rider ability can help determine the ideal route for you. The app also syncs to devices like Garmin and Apple watches.
The Komoot app is free to download, but you may need to pay for additional maps.
With Bike Citizen, you input the details of your bicycle, and it determines the best terrain for you and avoids areas that don’t match. A neat inclusion is places to see along the way in case you want to do some sightseeing.
Ride With GPS
Ride With GPS is an app based on other people’s experiences. They’ve already added routes they’ve successfully found. Using the “Find a Route” tool, you can benefit from their knowledge. If you’re more inclined to try and find your own, why not share it on the app for others to follow?
Visit Well-Known Cycle Routes
Rather than waiting until you get there and logging into an app (if that’s not your thing), why not go to an already well-established cycle route? These range from a few hours to a whole month. Here are two of the best short options:
Going-to-the-Sun Road, US
By now, you’ve cycled around California and are looking to branch out into the US, so Montana is an excellent choice. Glacier National Park offers stunning scenery and a 50-mile bike track. It’s best traveled west to east, and your reward is the beautiful Logan’s Pass.
Going-to-the-Sun Road is extremely popular, and only experienced riders are encouraged to visit during the peak summer months. On the other hand, the winter months are too brutal to traverse due to snow cover, so spring is the ideal time to get the best experience. There’s a $20 park entry fee.
Shimanami Kaido, Japan
Many regions of Japan are very cycle-friendly. The 44-mile cycle route from Onomichi City, Honshu, to Imabari City, Shikoku, via bridges is a fantastic way to see the country and get a full day of riding. Along the way, you’ll cross six inland islands and many small towns and experience the Japan of yesteryear.
The bike path opened in 1999 and is well preserved, making for a safe journey for all. If you want to break the ride, you can ferry between Honshu and Mukaishima Island.
Cycling Away From Home
One of the greatest adventures you’ll ever have is cycling in a foreign city or country. All it takes is a small amount of preparation beforehand, and you’ll have the time of your life.
Check online for cycle groups at your destination and engage with them.
If you haven’t yet added it to your Google Maps app, activate the bicycle layer. While you’re on your phone, tap into some of the excellent apps designed specifically for cyclists.
Alternatively, go to the places with established cycle routes. We’ve only covered two, but there are many to choose from.